Happy Atoms: Review, Curriculum Highlights, and Learning Suitability

Finding the best science curriculum for your student is as individual as each student. Happy Atoms covers science for grades 5-12. There are a few things to consider and decide whether this is the best choice for your student.

Happy Atoms covers science for grades 5-12. This curriculum is best suited for kinesthetic or project-based learners. Happy Atoms may be a good choice for your student if they like to learn with projects or by trial and error.

Curriculum details from those who have tried it and have hands-on experience are vital. I have tried out Happy Atoms with my own children and looked through it myself to see what type of learner would benefit from it based on my experiences.

You can view the walk-through video of Happy Atoms here:

insert YouTube here

Always preview content and material before giving it to children. It is vital to ensure that all content is appropriate for your children and your learning goals and to determine whether it is appropriate for their specific disability. No two children learn the same. You work with them daily and know how they learn and what will work for them better than anyone else.


Least Restrictive Learning

What To Know About About Happy Atoms

Before we get into the details about Happy Atoms, here is a breakdown of important information:

Happy Atoms

Publisher: Thames & Kosmos

Number of Students: 1 – 5

Subject(s): Science

Grade(s): 5-12

Worldview: Secular

Additional Material Required: Free app required to use (available on Google Play Store, App Store, Kindle)

Overall Impressions: Very positive, project-based learning that engages students

Where To Buy:

Please note that these links to buy may be affiliate links, where I may get monetary compensation if you decide to purchase at no additional cost to you.

Quick Description:

Students use magnetic spheres with plastic arms that come off to model the atom and the bonds. Each of the plastic arms has a magnet at the end. The number of bonds varies between the atoms to model the correct atom it is marked as.

When students are done, they take a picture of it on the free app. The app recognizes different atoms, but students can correct any mistakes before submitting it.

The app tells them if it has been discovered and adds it to the library of total atoms they have found.

There is an Introductory Set, a Complete Set, and a Classroom Bundle Set with five sets included.

Overall Impressions:

I have been very impressed with Happy Atoms. We purchased the Introductory set in May of my son’s 3rd-grade year. He enjoyed it so much that he played with it for at least a few days per week. We decided to purchase the Complete Set for Christmas that year.

When we purchased the additional set, we did have some duplicate atoms. However, this was never a problem. It made it so my Kindergartener could easily play too.

I got the entire set out to write this review. My 6-year-old decided to start playing with them, and a few minutes ago came over to show me how she made four water molecules and pretended to drink them.

My children are excited to learn using trial and error, so my experience with the guided lessons is limited, but it is a great set for children that don’t want to be told how to learn.

Educational Standards Happy Atoms Covers

It is important to watch what standards children may not be covered when using alternative curricula. Below are the Common Core Curriculum, Next Generation Science Standards, and others that Happy Atoms cover. Links will take you to a page on this website with further information about this standard.

Next Generation Science Standards

Below you will find the Next Generation Science Standards. The links go to a page on this website that discusses the standard specifications and has other information about teaching this standard.

5-PS1-1 Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1-1 Matter and Its Interactions
MS-PS1-3 Matter and Its Interactions
MS-PS1-4 Matter and Its Interactions
MS-PS1-5 Matter and Its Interactions
HS-PS1-1 Matter and Its Interactions

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

What To Know About Happy Atoms Delivery Methods

When selecting any curriculum, the student’s learning style must be understood. Happy Atoms could work for different learning styles if you make accommodations during teaching. Below is a summary of learning styles and considerations for each type when selecting Happy Atoms.

Happy Atoms With Visual Learners

Happy Atoms is excellent for students that need to see something to understand it.

Other things to consider: If students prefer videos, this won’t be as good for them.

Happy Atoms With Auditory Learners

We found no options to narrate the results or how to complete projects.

Other things to consider: This might be a great option for an auditory learner who wants to have busy hands while listening to a podcast or other audio-only learning.

Happy Atoms With Kinesthetic Learners

Happy Atoms was designed to work for kinesthetic learners with easy trial-and-error methods. If this is the type of learner you have and they don’t learn well through other methods, I’d highly recommend this option.

Other things to consider: This is a great option for kinesthetic learners with low fine motor skills because the atoms are large enough to handle, and the magnets come together so easily, unlike other molecular modeling sets.

Happy Atoms With Computer Learners

While it does have an online component, a big portion is done by physically manipulating the materials.

Other things to consider: If kids are averse to anything off a computer or are not physically capable of it, this might be a struggle. But since it has a component with a phone or tablet, it is likely to engage most students further.

Happy Atoms With Independent Learners

Happy Atoms is great for students that prefer to learn at their own pace and on their own terms. Students can see how many bonds each atom has, try new molecules, and have the app tell them about the molecules they have created.

Other things to consider: If students don’t understand the concepts, it might be more difficult to see this or to help them with support. But students who prefer to learn independently usually prefer to keep trying and seeing what can happen, so this option meets what they need on many levels.

Happy Atoms With Social Learners

Several students could easily use each set in a group to collaborate and learn together.

Other things to consider: There are no structured group projects, so if you plan to use this for that purpose, you may need to find lesson plans or ideas on how to have students collaborate together.

Happy Atoms For Learners That Need To See And Hear

Happy Atoms is not ideal for students who need to see and hear their lessons. There is no audio to go with the app, or if it exists, it was not easily found.

Other things to consider: Many students who need to see and hear their lessons need multiple sensory experiences to understand and would learn well with this material, even though it excludes the audio.

Happy Atoms With Interactive Online Learners

For students who only want to learn on a computer, Happy Atoms will not be ideal. However, there are online interactive models to look at and learn from in the app.

Other things to consider: The pieces in this set are quite large, so if it is a physical or developmental disability you are looking to accommodate, this set may still work.

What Subject(s) and Grade(s) Happy Atoms Covers

Happy Atoms can be used for Science in grades 5-12. However, there are some things to consider.

How Happy Atoms Addresses Disability Needs

When our children are disabled, we need to consider a few additional things. Happy Atoms doesn’t specifically call out any disabilities they have designed the product for.

Things to consider about Happy Atoms for specific disabilities:

For autistic students, this might be a great product as there are independent study possibilities, and they can check their work themselves.

For dyslexic students, physical options are very helpful. However, if their disability keeps them from reading the information on the app, it may not be a good fit or should be done as a group project.

For students with dysgraphia, this might be a great option for testing. Instead of having the student write or draw a molecule to demonstrate their understanding, they could assemble one.

For students with dyspraxia, Happy Atoms may be a great option as the fine motor skills are surprisingly minimal. The pieces are large and are easily made and taken apart. They made need assistance in taking pictures with the phone or tablet if they can’t get the camera to stabilize and be still for long.

For twice-exceptional students, there are options to allow them to show their understanding and then move ahead and discover concepts and have a deeper understanding of the idea.

For intellectually disabled students, Happy Atoms could be a fun educational opportunity. It is appropriate to play with it like a game, and it has a large range of grades it can serve. However, my personal experience says this could be used with students younger than 5th grade. It would be easy to adjust the level they are learning at.

Happy Atoms would be a great option for students with an auditory processing disorder since they don’t have any auditory information to disseminate in this product.

For students with motor deficits, Happy Atoms may be a good option. How much of a fit will depend on the extent of the student’s fine motor abilities. However, the pieces are large and attach using magnets, making them easy to put together and take apart. There are touchscreen options they will need to operate as well.

Who Should Use Happy Atoms

The ideal audience for Happy Atoms is anyone who wants to use Happy Atoms to supplement information on atoms and molecules. It is a great supplement for students to explore molecules and encourage excitement and discovery.

Students with demand avoidance may find this a great learning option. They control what they are doing. Review demand avoidance and see if this might be something you are struggling with (in either the classroom or the home).

Who Should NOT Use Happy Atoms

Happy Atoms is not a full curriculum for Chemistry. It is not appropriate as a replacement for another curriculum. There may be struggles for students who need an auditory component or struggle with fine motor. The pieces are large enough to be easily used by many students, but you need to consider that on an individual basis.

More Information About Happy Atoms

More information can be found on the publisher’s website. It is important to note that they send customers to Amazon for unavailable to be purchased directly.

You can find more information in the video embedded above or browse through these photos of Happy Atoms in action.

Browse Other Curriculum

Use the menus below to find similar curricula sorted by type and subject. The links go to another page on this site with further information about it.


Check out the games listed here for teaching in new and different ways. Board games can be a great way to engage students who have struggled using other methods or types of curricula.


English/Language Arts


Social Studies/Geography

Critical Thinking

Online Materials

Online teaching materials get a bad reputation, but they can offer access to students who may not otherwise be able to learn these things due to disability or access.


English/Language Arts


Social Studies/Geography

Critical Thinking

Traditional Curriculum

Traditional Curricula can be great for use as a spine or to guide your studies.


English/Language Arts


Social Studies/Geography

Critical Thinking

Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning can engage students in ways that allow them to see how the knowledge is applicable. This can help students see why they should learn these concepts and how they are used outside academic settings.


English/Language Arts


Social Studies/Geography

Critical Thinking

Recent Posts